Skip to comments.Cardinal O’Malley explains the pope’s silence on abortion
Posted on 08/07/2013 3:47:02 PM PDT by NYer
From National Catholic Reporter:
Pope Francis has not mentioned traditional hot-button Catholic issues like abortion because he prefers to emphasize that Catholics “love people” and are not “mean or old-fashioned,” Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has said.
O’Malley, the only North American Francis asked to serve on a group of eight cardinals advising him on reforming the church, made the comments during a keynote address Tuesday in San Antonio at the annual convention of the Knights of Columbus.
“Some people think that the Holy Father should talk more about abortion,” O’Malley told approximately 2,000 attendees, according to a copy of the remarks posted online.
“I think he speaks of love and mercy to give people the context for the Church’s teaching on abortion,” he continued. “We oppose abortion, not because we are mean or old fashioned, but because we love people. And that is what we must show the world.”
O’Malley’s focus on explaining the pope’s lack of abortion talk may be seen by some as a reaction by the cardinal to recent reports that some American Catholics have been underwhelmed by the new pope’s emphases, which have also not highlighted other more controversial Catholic teachings on issues like gay marriage or divorce and remarriage.
From text posted on the Knights of Columbus website:
Recently I read about an American relief worker in Africa, who reported on being at a camp for a food distribution line, it was very chaotic, even scary. He could see that they were running out of food and that these starving people were desperate. At the end of the line, the last person was a little nine year old girl. All that was left was one banana. They handed it to her. She peeled the banana and gave half each to her younger brother and sister. Then she licked the banana peel. The relief worker said at that moment he began to believe in God.
We must be better people; we must love all people, even those who advocate abortion. It is only if we love them that we will be able to help them discover the sacredness of the life of an unborn child. Only love and mercy will open hearts that have been hardened by the individualism of our age.
…The Churchs teaching is about loving and caring for everyone. In his talk to the Brazilian bishops last week, Pope Francis said: We need a Church capable of rediscovering the maternal womb of mercy. Without mercy we have little chance nowadays of entering the world of wounded persons in need of understanding, forgiveness and love. The Holy Father alludes to Cardinal Kaspers work on mercy when he says that mercy without truth would be consolation without honesty and is empty chatter.
On the other hand, however, the truth without mercy would be cold, offputting and ready to wound. The truth isnt a wet rag that you throw in someones face, but a warm cape that you wrap around a person, to protect and strengthen them.
Read the rest of the speech.
I understand this approach. But it should be clear: the pro-Death people will hate the Godly whether the Godly take a judgmental approach or a strictly loving approach. Makes no difference. Actually, if I had to guess, I’d say the pro-Death people will respond with greater hate if approached in a loving manner. But I guess it’s still what we are called to do.
Pope Francis has not mentioned traditional hot-button Catholic issues like abortion because he prefers to emphasize that Catholics love people and are not mean or old-fashioned,”
Don’t the innocent unborn deserve love, too?
OMG. I can't roll my eyes hard enough at this.
OFM explanation of SJ—likely to end badly.
Correction—O’Malley is a Cap—not the same thing, but I still wouldn’t give it a lot of weight.
As a Christian I understand preaching love. However, on abortion, ignoring the issue doesn’t serve to love anyone. You love on young women by giving them real choices and showing them that the “fetus” is actually a human being. How much more love can you show a pregnant young woman than to offer them the hope of human life? If we remain silent, we condemn such women to lives of guilt and regret.
The prevailing attitudes about abortion are changing in this country...not because we have been silent, but because we have spoken up! We’ve shown women the attrocity of the act and people are being convinced.
It is as simple as that. Abortion is a brutal, painful procedure that destroys a human being.
Cardinal O’Malley sounds like so many in the American Catholic hierarchy who have no morals or faith and have nothing but contempt for the millions of faithful Catholics who contribute their time, talent and treasure to the Catholic Church.
My guess is that he's projecting (yes, I'm in Boston); his own guiding philosophy seems to be "never say anything that might conceivably discomfit a Democrat!" Well, he avoids unsympathetic coverage from The Boston Globe, so I guess it's working!
This Pope is all about Social Justice and very little else. Give me back Pope Benedict any day. Luckily, as this Pope is elderly, he won’t be in office that long. Hope they choose more wisely next time. This one is a poor choice for this time in history when you need a Pope who draws bright moral lines, and does not succumb to moral relevancy.
i guess the real speaker that the K of C scheduled must have cancelled and they needed somebody to sub at the last minute.
"We oppose abortion, not because we are mean or old fashioned, but because we love people."
He's saying we're anti-abortion because we love (the unborn, etc!) --- he did NOT set up the implied either/or that was in the subhead.
In this kind of story, you can expect media distortion in the headlines, the captions, and the first 15 words (which is all some people ever read.)
Thanks, that DOES make a difference.
Don't know about y'all but whether or not I love people has nothing to do with whether I oppose abortion. I oppose abortion because the babies are God's children and He loves people. I'm a hermit myself; never made babies.
In the old days women were taught that one of the reasons not to have an abortion was because she probably would end up in hell for it (absent absolution, Divine forgiveness, etc.) Has the new pope mentioned the inferno even once, directly or indirectly? Or is that too ""?
This is true. The opportunists among them (most of them), always ready to ambush the Catholic Church, could not have dreamed of a better opportunity.
(should be plural -- new ones seem to come along about twice per week)
Well said, Mrs. D. It’s hillarious how the media left keeps doing this selective editing, and we keep lapping up their drivel.
I’m one of many Catholic FReepers who is grateful for Pope Francis and his approach to evangelization in the modern world. He ticks off the left and the right in pretty equal measure, which is fine by me. And yes, he believes in social justice, to the same level that has been taught since the Sermon on the Mount - which includes both love for the unborn AND love for the lowest among us. Why the two can’t go hand in hand I’ll never know.
Did love stop the Nazis from exterminating Jews? Did love stop the KKK from lynching? Did love stop John the Baptist from calling Herrod an adulterer? Complete insanity.
II'm with you. Hoosier. Mother Teresa seemed to be able o combine all the important stuff in one obstinate (but humble) package.
Mother Teresa said the fruit of abortion is nuclear war.
If you're intimating that those of us from the liturgical and socially conservative right who aren't particularly infatuated with the new pope don't profess both love for the unborn and love for the poor, you're wrong.
Mother Teresa hit the nail on the head.
And the papal reign of Pope Francis is still in its infancy, and I would never foolishly presume to think he needs my advice on how to "do his job".
However, if he had a blog, and asked for genuine feedback and suggestions from the lowest of the common laity (such as me), I think I would tell him this.
1. If you talk to the western "main stream media", and you wax eloquently about the need for Christians to love all fellow sinners (including homo priests), you should immediately follow that with the clarification that such priests should preserve their chastity, and not act on their homosexual urges and temptations. (They should "Go and sin no more", just like all other sinners should do.)
(After he neglected to make that clarification in his recent interviews, it took what seemed like a huge old-fashioned "spin team" to truthfully make it clear that what he had said was in no way excusing sinful behaviors, nor was it changing any Catholic teachings.)
2. I would also gently point out to him that Blessed Mother Teresa never required anyone to explain her silence about the abortion issue, as she did not remain silent about abortion.
Even in front of presidents and other powerful people, she would stretch to her full five feet tall stature (maybe), and preach in no uncertain or vague terms about the evils of abortion.
In the face of such horrific evil and malevolent atrocity (with far more people being murdered by abortions than by the Nazis, for example), she never shied away from plainly and boldly telling the truth about abortion and calling for the end of abortion.
No one could accuse Blessed Mother Teresa of maintaining silence about one of the biggest horrors of our times.
May God bless Pope Francis.
Why let the text get in the way of a good “AAAAAAAAAGHHH!”?
If this Cardinal is a window to the Pope, then I would conclude that Francis is determined to pursue a rebranding of the RCC. I suspect the social-justice language, therefore, is made to make Roman Catholicism appear more acceptable to infidels and commies.
All of the big, well-known branches of Christianity will embrace the anti-Christ before the end comes.
Doesn’t change a thing for me. He is still saying that we shouldn’t speak of abortion because we must show how much we love, not because we are mean and old-fashioned. He is certainly implying (at least) that to speak of abortion outright is to make others think we are mean and old-fashioned.
This is just another example of the Church hierarchy caring more about what others think of the Church than boldly proclaiming the meany, traditional Truth.
It's always troubling to me when Person B steps in, and claims to know what Person A meant. I interpret such statements as a form of crowd control, trying to give Person A an out w/o actually speaking for them.
Good post. The pope should put you on retainer.
Except that he didn't say that.
"The fundraisers were the latest barb for area Catholic activists, who have decried Connors simultaneous ties with the Archdiocese of Boston and the progressive political and social world including the abortion industry".
Unless the Pope had been directly asked about abortion or makes some statement that is in conflict with the existing church position on abortion (neither of which is true as far as I know), then why would anyone even be concerned? Obviously, the position of the Catholic Church is that life is sacred and abortion is wrong. I would expect that the Pope would hold that same position.
Ironically, one of the bigger problems in the Church is that half of the people in the pews, think it is just hunky dory to vote and support for politicians who are aggressive abortion worshipers.
So, our hierarchy will now be even nicer about the abortion issue.
Wow, I think just the opposite message would be our message. We should be defending the those who cannot defend themselves.
Great point regarding Mother Teresa never remaining silent on abortion, even in front of world leaders.
Of course it’s an out. The issue is that Pope Francis did not speak about abortion. He admitted it himself in an interview.
And some folks have a need to defend it. And then some folks have a need to defend those that defend it.
I wish folks would stop with the never-ending excuses.
“Cardinal OMalley sounds like so many in the American Catholic hierarchy who have no morals or faith and have nothing but contempt for the millions of faithful Catholics who contribute their time, talent and treasure to the Catholic Church.”
How is that working out for them? I and many people I know have stopped giving all three as they shut down our schools and were complicit in Obama’s election; now I fulfill my sacramental obligations while my taxes take care of my financial obligations to feed/house/clothe the poor.
“Ironically, one of the bigger problems in the Church is that half of the people in the pews, think it is just hunky dory to vote and support for politicians who are aggressive abortion worshipers.
So, our hierarchy will now be even nicer about the abortion issue.”
You have that backwards; the people in the pews think it is hunky dory because their hierarchy never told them they threaten their immortal souls when they are complicit in abortion (via their votes). This isn’t the laiety leading the clergy; this is the clergy failing the laiety (ever since Vatican II).
Pope Francis is no different than any other Pope when it comes to abortion, sodomite “marriage” or any other social issue. He also emphasis other social problems like taking care of the poor. That’s the Jusuit in him.
“Because of his personal style, some on the theological left (or just the left in general) have wondered if and hoped that he might “change the Church’s teaching” on issues like abortion or homosexual “marriage.”
Such hopes are bound to be disappointed.
He’s already on record on both.
Pope Francis is on record defending the right to life for the unborn. He also has resisted framing abortion as a religious issue that could be set aside in favor of religious neutrality:
The moral problem of abortion is pre-religious in nature because the genetic code of the person happens in the moment of conception.
A human being is already there. I separate the topic of abortion from any religious concept. It is a scientific problem.
To not let the development continue of a being who already has all the genetic code of a human being is not ethical.
The right to life is the first of human rights.
To abort is to kill someone who cannot defend himself [On Heaven and Earth].
In 2010, Pope Franciss native Argentina was in the process of legalizing homosexual marriage. The countrys bishops took a very strong line against the measure. A statement made by then-Cardinal Bergoglio was particularly pointed.
According to British journalist Edward Pentin:
He made the statement in a letter addressed to each of the four monasteries in Argentina, asking the contemplatives to pray fervently that legislators be strengthened to do the right thing.
He wrote: In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family. . . .
At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother, and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of Gods law engraved in our hearts.
Cardinal Bergoglio continued: Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy Gods plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a move of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.
The cardinal also noted that today the country, in this particular situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to bring the light of truth on to the darkness of error, it need this advocate to defend us from being enchanted by many fallacies that are tried at all costs to justify this bill and to confuse and deceive the people of good will.
“kumbaya” bumpus ad summum
I think he speaks of love and mercy to give people the context for the Churchs teaching on abortion, he continued. We oppose abortion, not because we are mean or old fashioned, but because we love people. And that is what we must show the world.
O’Malley’s words, not Pope Francis. But I think what O’Malley was saying is Catholics love the baby who was aborted but also love the girl who had the abortion. His thoughts on abortion are contained in the Cathecism of the Catholic Church. They are the same as all Pope’s before. No abortion is ever acceptable. Give him some time. I’m sure he’ll say more about the evils of abortion. All Pope’s do.
“one of the bigger problems in the Church is that half of the people in the pews, think it is just hunky dory to vote and support for politicians who are aggressive abortion worshipers”
This is not true. It has been shown that Catholics(and all Christians) who attend church regularly and follow the teachings of the Church do not support “aggressive abortion worshipers”. Catholics who do not attend church, do not support their parish and do not live by the teachings of the Church are the ones who support abortion.
Almost everyone who is active in the Church opposes abortion and politicians who promote it.
I dont think this is the case at all. I know plenty of uber liberal abortion lovers who attend Mass and think they are correct.
“..In this kind of story, you can expect media distortion in the headlines, the captions, and the first 15 words (which is all some people ever read.)”
Distortion is not surprising from the “Catholic” Reporter, since they are not really Catholic. I’ve heard they have been asked by Church leaders to not call themselves Catholic.
“Pope Francis is on record defending the right to life for the unborn. ..”
Pope Francis also has a record of LEADERSHIP:
Recently Pope Francis surprised 40,000 pro-lifers in Rome by joining them in the March for Life (from LifeSiteNews.com). But don’t expect to find these kind of accounts in the leftist “Catholic” Reporter.
It seems the bishops don't know what we as parents know: that unless you require obedience -- unless you make it stick --- you'll never be able to get any kind of compliance, based on filial love or loyalty or religious vows or anything else.
There should not be a single priest or vowed religious writing for them, and yet there they are, page after page.
It's pathetic, when you come right down to it.
This is not the case in my parish. But I don't doubt what you say.
This is yet more reason for the priests and others to firmly restate that human life is precious and a gift from God. It must also be taught that the killing of an innocent unborn child is sinful and an abomination.